Apple watch so what's it like?

was given an Apple Watch as a gift on my birthday in June. I have been wearing it every day since and have spent time using a lot of its features and available apps.

I have to admit that I was not planning to buy a watch when it came out. However, having used it for a couple of months I have grown attached to a number of its features. Essentially its benefits are the sum of a small number of conveniences. None of them individually would make you buy a watch but collectively they make something that is useful and quite valuable.

Valuable features

Music and Bluetooth headphones - I am big runner and I love being able to download music to my watch and then listening using Bluetooth headphones. This means I don't need to carry my phone or any other device. Very convenient.

Mapmyrun - simple use but for my longer runs i.e over 5 miles I really like to use the mapmyrun app. This is great because I can listen to my latest book, music, or podcast on my iPhone and the app gives me mile by mile splits and time updates. The watch is handy because I can easily start and stop my run with my watch. I generally run with a camelpak and put my phone in it. Before the watch if I wanted to take a quick break on the run I would have to scrabble about getting the phone out of the pocket and pausing the run.
Activity app - whilst not perfect yet the activity app is useful to track my workouts and also my steps. I am not a big user of heart rate monitors now but I don't think it is very accurate yet but gives a reasonable approximation 

Siri to play music - I really like to be able to talk to my watch to play music of my choice while driving rather than looking down to pick up my phone and talking. I don't have to my eye off the road at any time.

Messages reply with Siri - If I get a message on my phone I get a notification on my watch. I have set it such that I reply with a dictation by default. Siri really does work for this. Makes quick replies whilst driving, walking or doing some other activity quick and very convenient 

Apple pay - no fiddling about getting credit card our of my wallet. Just a couple of clicks and I can pay with my credit card on my watch. Very convenient 

Passbook - Like Apple pay I make use of the watch passbook app. I use it primarily to pay for Starbucks coffees and get into Equinox gym. Sometimes the bar code on the watch is too small for other uses e.g. Had to get out my phone to get into the cinema via Fandago.

Notifications - I took some time to go through all my iPhone notifications and rationalize only what I really want to see on the phone. So I have one news source,  text/iMessage, my bank/credit card, and notifications about rain coming.

Maps - set a location on your phone and your watch will vibrate when you need to do something. Useful when you are in the car or walking

Drawings - it's fun to send your close friends little drawings...a toy

Improvements

Swim - if there was one feature that would make this device a slam dunk for me would be if it were waterproof so I could swim whilst wearing the watch. Frankly I never want to take my watch off except to charge.

Podcasts & Audible books downloaded on watch - would love to be able to only use my watch on longer runs. To do this I would like to be able to download a few podcasts and the book I cam currently listening to.

Stay on same screen when active - whilst I am running I would like to be able to look down and see how I am doing. This works ok if you use the activity app. However, if I am using MapMyRun or Strava this does not happen. To find out what is going on I have to take my sweaty hand and try to pick the right app icon...this does not work very well because the icons are so small. Annoying


Other notes

Battery life - this works well. I have generally around 40% when I go to bed at night and put it on to charge.

RTFM - You need to read the manual to understand how to make best use of the watch. 

Do not download all apps when you set up - I heard this on one of my tech podcasts before I got my watch. It was a good recommendation because you really don't want many icons on your watch. Just put on what you are going to use...leave the rest of the junk.

Carefully set your notifications - As I stated above if you don't do this you will constantly be getting dinged for stuff that you need or want.